Re: Re: Re: Can anyone identify the Artist

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Posted by Pierce Molony on August 17, 1998 at 12:16:10:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Can anyone identify the Artist posted by Hans Olof Johansson on August 16, 1998 at 20:49:49:

: Theo has already said almost everything there is to say about this print, of course. I fully agree with him that it is a stage portrait of an onnagata, and that it is probably a part of a triptych.

: I would only like to add a couple of things. The kana on the cartouche to the left of the actor's head read "Keisei Ayame", which perhaps is the name of the woman in the play.

: Having access to an image with better resolution than the one posted here, I can also add that there are two censors' seals below the kiri seal: Mera and Watanabe.

: : Dear Pierce Molony,

: : This is what I have found so far:

: : Artist: Kuniyoshi - important ukiyo-e artist from the middle of the 19th century
: : Artist signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi Ga (in gourd-shaped cartouche)
: : Artistseal: Kiri
: : Data-seal: 7th month year of the rat = 1852
: : Actor: Man in the role of a female (onagata - see his cap to cover his shaven forehead)
: : Actorcrest: unknown
: : Role depicted: unknown
: : Play: unknown
: : Print size: oban (left part of a poliptych, probable a triptych)

: : This print has been made in a period that printmaking really boomed. Lots of prints are known from the year 1852 and not exclusively from Kuniyoshi. It's almost impossible to find the same print twice, let alone something about the kabuki play. Your print looks like it's in a bad shape. It shows torn edges, stains and a wormhole. But I must say I'm always pleased to say a Kuniyoshi, even in such a shape. In colour it will be even more vivid. I'm not sure about the flowered stick she (he) is leaning on, though. The other hand is probably reaching for something like a love-letter or perhaps some tissues. The character is definitely a courtesan as she has to many hairpins to be a decent lady.

: : I hope this information has added something to what you perhaps already knew. And perhaps someone even knows more ....

Thanks to Hans Olaf Johansson and Theo de Kreijger for the information on the Kuniyoshi print. I have a second one with the same signature. It is of a man in a Kimono or yugata and he would appear to be an actor also. We did not collect Ukiyo-e while in Japan but a lot of furniture, such as Karuma Tansu and Hibachi. My wife picked up the prints in a tiny store in Shibuya, where we lived.
There are two more by different artists. One is a much more spectacularly dressed onnagata in a kabuki play. She (he) has more hairpins and very elaborate designs on the kimono. On the feet are very high geta. In the background are shadow figures behind shoji
I will try and get a similar B&W scans. if you would be so kind to identify the artist for me. the problem with color scans is that I do not have a scanner and the file size of a color scan would be too big for me to transfer by floppy to my computer.
By the way, the flowered object looks more like a sash hanging to the ground than a stick.
Finally, do these prints have much value in their present state?

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